It happens to the best. We all get lazy sometimes. Australian summers can get hot and humid, and American/European winters can get cold and snowy. The last thing you want to do is lace up your running shoes and brace the extreme temperatures. Here are some steps to help you get motivated to start running again and defeat that awful negative mentality that has such a good job at controlling our actions. Sometimes all it takes is a little bit of motivation to get your feet out the door, and I hope I can motivate you to do so.
1. Sign up for 2 races.
Sign up for one that is one to two months away (a 5k race) and then one that is 4 to 6 months away (a 10k or half marathon). Scheduling two can help because after completing the first short one, you will hopefully want to challenge yourself even more by completing a longer one. You will also be in shape again by that time.
2. Remember why you started.
There’s a reason why you decided you wanted to get healthy a while ago. There’s a reason why you trained so hard and gave it your all to complete that 10k race 6 months ago. Remember how it made you feel, and how accomplishing it felt after crossing that finish line. Emotions play an important role in running and can control our every move. Try to keep them positive, and remember that those self-doubts you keep thinking about are all in your head. Nothing is holding you back but yourself.
3. Begin by running slower.
Begin jogging at an enjoyable pace. Train your brain again into enjoying it. Take in the scenery around you. It helps by not making it a chore. Gradually increase to your normal pace and you will be back right where you ended.
4. Join a running group or find a running partner.
It’s much more fun running with a friend. You have someone to talk to, and someone to compete against. We are naturally competitive human beings and we thrive off of competition, so this method is extremely useful to becoming a better runner. That’s why joining a running group could be helpful as well. On those certain days that you have no motivation to run, a mandatory running practice will help get your feet out of the door. You will achieve your goals in no time if you surround yourself with successful people.
5. Take part in an alternate form of exercise.
This can help if you become bored of running or if you are looking to become a stronger runner. I like to incorporate strength training and core work on the days I don’t run so that I work my muscles in other ways to get stronger. Sometimes I like to do a cycling class or I will attend a yoga class after a long day at work. You have to find an activity that suits your interests the best.
6. Take before & after photos
Compare your photo of when you first started to the photo you take after you complete your first half marathon. Compare the emotions going through your head in each photo. This will help you remember how much fitness really can affect your life, and why it is important to maintain a goal and your health. It is your body and you control how your body reacts.
Your health is your hands. Take good care of it. 🙂